July 2011 Archives

Welcome to the July 2011 edition of the Expressive Arts Carnival. This month's theme, see announcement, was to write about someone who has taught you something about healing and select three words to send to the carnival along with a color. I took all your submissions and made a word cloud using Wordle.

Here is the result of the combined contributions of 11 entries (33 words) presented as one image in rough alphabetical order to reveal similar words (i.e., most word roots are unique except for 'accept' which appears four times and 'healing' and 'understand' each appearing twice).

You can click on the image for a higher resolution version.

Contributors whose names are linked have a blog post on this activity. Here is the list in the order they were received:

  • Castorgirl wrote: "This was a difficult exercise.  When I tried to think of someone positive, my mind went blank.  Then, as I described the safe hug that the person I chose gave me, I cried.  But it was a healing thing to do... to remember those times of positivity that kept me going."

  • Payton, a new contributor, wrote: "This experience was a really helpful way to focus on some of the gifts that I have been given for this healing journey. Sometimes, in the throws of intense therapy work, it's easy to get lost in the exhaustion and pain. Thanks for this great way to thank my therapist for the many great lessons I have learned from her!"

  • Haven, blog, wrote: "These words come from a poem I wrote about my father who is the only hero I've ever had."

  • Kylie wrote: "This project really made me consider all those who have helped me and continue to do so, all the people I am so grateful for. I think it can be really easy to get stuck into how hard things are and focus on the hurt, and this can mean you overlook the people around you and you forget to show your gratitude."

  • Just Eliza, blog, a new contributor, wrote: "This exercise was meaningful because my therapist and I are facing our last sessions together. I have been reflecting on what I brought to therapy (hope), what she taught me (being kind), and ultimately what we achieved together: learning to value and express my authentic self."

  • Bay wrote: "This month's exercise was actually a really big one for us. It wasn't hard to decide who to write about, but once we started writing we started to wonder about sharing our blog with this person. We have done, and in doing so have allowed our 3D and online worlds to touch for the first time. So far, nothing terrible has happened."

  • Wantstorun wrote: "We did a modified version and came up with three words that are characteristics we want to have in an individual who helps us with our healing, or is otherwise inspirational.  My other modification was to put the words in "code" (more formally known as windings font)." When I replied back to her that I had received it, my mail converted the font to reveal the words. She took this as a sign that the non-coded words should be included.

  • Andrea, a new contributor.

  • Kerro

  • Algo4Me4Once wrote: "This entry I found particularly difficult because having been through a lot medically this month, it also increased my over-load emotionally. Also, got "stuck" when asked to pick one person because in reality, it has been many. I chose 'Healing' because it is what I am trying to do, ever so slowly, but not giving up, one moment at a time, even in the midst of chaos or when silent! I chose 'Movement' without movement I would be literally stuck. I chose 'Love' because without learning to love me, I feel the journey would not be able to be taken."

  • Paul wrote: "This exercise was helpful in allowing me to get to more stable ground."

That's all folks! Thanks to all those who contributed, especially those of you who are new. Thanks for taking a chance! If you think this Carnival is worthwhile, then let others know about it and we can continue to increase the contributors for future months.

The Expressive Arts Carnival was founded to to bring survivors together through expressive arts activities. On the Carnival's home page you can find links to all activity announcements and Carnival publications. Activities are posted on the first of every month and submissions are open for approximately 3 weeks. Please consider emailing to paul@mindparts.org to be added to our anonymous mailing list for announcements and occasional discussions.


Finally on Stable Ground

| By Paul | | Comments (10)

I know it has been a long while since I have written here and an even longer time since I have been reading other's blogs or in touch with friends both in my healing circle as well as other areas of my life. I have been basically out of it on so many levels, including internally, but still able to present a front of super functionality. After several months of this, I finally feel like I have found some stability. I learned a lot and I write more specifically about it soon.

Today, though, I want to make my contribution to this month's Expressive Arts Carnival. In the announcement for the Carnival, I did not say that I did this exercise before, a bit over a year ago while inpatient.

In thinking about this directive now and who I could possibly write about who has taught me, my thoughts go inside of me. I have learned the most about healing from me. That may sound like a "big ego" statement. But it is more a statement about acceptance of the various separate aspects of my psyche and an understanding that this structure is fundamental to who I am.

I know I have talked about this many times before: When I get into a denial space internally and make statements that parts of me do not exist in the very separate way they often do, I end up not being true to myself. And that truth is a necessity. That is what I have been missing over the last few, at least, months.

A good deal of healing comes from communicating with discrete parts of myself. Of course, they are all connected and we are one person. But it is also true that I have evolved in a very compartmentalized way, and so learning about those compartments and building connections is what a lot of my healing journey is about.

Over the past few days, since I have found a sense of balance, the key thing I have done was to accept and listen inside. I stopped pushing parts of me away. I acknowledged all of them. That approach has changed everything for me. No longer am I so confused. No longer am I losing time. No longer am I so hugely distant from memories that I just pushed away. No longer do I have no understanding for my behavior, and why I was so driven to self-harm.

Indeed, the past few days have been humbling for me. I now know that "I" is broad. I am more than "I" and that is something I must accept. It makes the journey simpler in some ways (e.g., I gain more fluidity) and also more complicated in others (e.g., I have to own difficult feelings). But that is my reality. My path. And I am back on it.

My words for the Carnival are: Truth, Healing, Balance. And my hex color code is #855E42 (named "Dark Wood," which for me signifies being grounded like a tree).

The Carnival will be published tomorrow, on the last day of the month. If you want to make a last minute entry, please do so by 2PM EST July 31 and I will include it.


Welcome to Activity No. 13 of the Expressive Arts Carnival for the month of July 2011. Thank you to all who participate and a special welcome if you are new!

There is something new for this month. The directive:

Part 1: Think of someone you look up to, real or imaginary, who has taught you something you can use (or do use) in your healing. Describe either the characteristics of the person, what they told you, or how you have been helped. Use expressive writing by telling a story, writing a poem, or anything that makes sense to you. If you have a blog, you can feel free to publish this writing on your blog. But you will not submit this writing as your entry.

Part 2: For your entry, select three words from your writing that have particular meaning to you and also one color (or HEX color code) that you would like to associate with these words.

I will then create a single word cloud combining the three words from each submission.

As usual, you may also send up to a few sentences to say what the process was like for you or what this activity meant to you. It is up to you whether you want to identify which words are yours.

Entries are due by Tuesday, July 26, 2011 and will be published shortly thereafter.

You may also feel free to send me a link to a page hosted on your own site (or blog) with your expressive writing, if you have one. If you do not have a blog post specifically on your entry, and you do have a blog, please tell me if you would like a link to your blog in the carnival. It is important to repeat that nobody is required to have a website in order to participate.

To submit an entry use this link to e-mail: paul@mindparts.org

Please use "EXPRESSIVE ARTS" in the subject heading to help me keep track of submissions. Every submission will receive an acknowledgement of receipt. If you do not receive one within a day or two, then please follow up with me.

The Expressive Arts Carnival was founded to to bring survivors of abuse together through expressive arts activities. On the Carnival's home page you can find links to all activity announcements and Carnival publications. Activities are posted at the beginning of every month and submissions are open for approximately 2-3 weeks. The Carnival will be posted shortly after submissions are closed.

If you have questions or need clarifications, direct them to me by e-mail or ask in the comments here.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2011 is the previous archive.

August 2011 is the next archive.

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